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November 9th, 2009
10:18 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The DC sniper saga

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/11/03/beltway.sniper.appeal/story.sniper.gi.jpg caption="John Allen Muhammad was convicted in an October 2002 sniper-style shooting." width=300 height=169]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

John Allen Muhammad and a teenage accomplice terrorized the nation’s capital for three weeks in October 2002 and were responsible for the sniper-style killings of 10 people in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Muhammad, 48, was recently transferred to death row in rural southern Virginia and is scheduled to be executed tomorrow. Lawyers for the convicted Beltway sniper asked the Supreme Court to block the execution, but there was no indication when the court would rule. A clemency request has already been filed with Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine’s office.

Tonight we’re doing a special report on the timeline of the terrifying story. We’re weaving together original footage of the attacks and interviews with people who lived in the area. The report includes the critical breaks and mistakes in the difficult investigation that lacked a traceable pattern and motive but eventually led to the arrest and conviction of the snipers.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of killing 13 people in the mass shooting at the Fort Hood army post last week, is conscious and talking this morning, according to the public affairs chief at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Hasan’s ventilator was removed over the weekend and he has apparently been conversing with medical staff. Authorities are still gathering evidence in the shootings and are asking anyone else who fled the scene to come forward so they can find as much evidence as possible.

Meanwhile, federal investigators are examining possible links between Hasan and an American-born imam whom U.S. authorities say has become a supporter of al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque. We’ll have the latest developments in the investigation tonight.

Today, Berlin celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall divided Berlin for more than 28 years and approximately 239 people died trying to escape. There will be a ‘Festival of Freedom’ in Berlin today, during which more than 1000 eight-foot foam tiles will be stacked along the former route of the Wall and toppled. Many world leaders will attend and speak at the event and Jon Bon Jovi will perform ‘We Weren’t Born to Follow’ at the commemoration being held at the Brandenburg Gate.

All eyes are on the Senate right now, after the House passed its version of the health care reform bill late on Saturday night. But what kind of movement can we expect on the Senate Floor? Some say we won’t see voting anytime soon. Sen. Joe Lieberman is repeating his vow to never let a bill with a public option come to a vote. So how will the health care debate play out in the Senate? We’re digging deeper tonight.

And we’ll have the second part of Anderson’s interview with Oprah tonight. CNN and Oprah’s Book Club are teaming up to bring you a discussion of ‘Say You’re One of Them,’ a book of short stories told from the perspectives of children in Africa. Anderson talks to Oprah about the book and about why she thinks education is the greatest gift to give children in Africa.

What else are you following today? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    About the death row I feel very divided. I think nobody has the right to take the life of another person. Regarding the death penalty as punishment, I do not feel comfortable and I don't like that.

    Glad that the second part of the interview with Oprah is today. I confess I couldn't stay awake on Friday.

    AC360 looks interesting today! See you!

    November 9, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  2. Lori

    See you then.

    November 9, 2009 at 10:55 am |